BitcoinBusiness

Coinbase to Sponsor Open Source Bitcoin Development

Coinbase is finally looking to sponsor two Bitcoin developers through their Crypto Community Fund for the first time, the company announced Thursday. 

"Unlike most cryptocurrency projects, Bitcoin launched without a fundraise, while bootstrapping an entire industry. The open source community has provided critical support for Bitcoin development, with some support from donations from industry organizations and academic institutions. Our goal is to similarly support developers who are committed to growing and maintaining the Bitcoin ecosystem," Coinbase shared in their blogpost.

While the goal is to focus on longer year-long developer grants, the firm is also encouraging shorter-term projects to apply as well. 

For years, members of the community have criticized Coinbase for claiming to have profited greatly from Bitcoin but not giving back to open-source Bitcoin development. This was something Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, had admitted to failing to execute on before but committed to look into it again on an interview with Peter McCormack on the What Bitcoin Did podcast. 

This year, Coinbase joins the ranks of notable cryptocurrency companies directly sponsoring open-source Bitcoin developers such as BitMEX, OKCoin, and Square and has been mostly been well-received by many in the industry.

"This is great," commented Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square.

"Welcome to the Bitcoin developer community! We're so happy to see other exchanges joining this effort," OkCoin added.

However, there are some who are still skeptical about the intentions of the sponsorship, requesting that Coinbase hire Bitcoin Core contributor Luke Dashjr without any ultimatums. This comment was in reference to when Coinbase had previously attempted to sponsor Bitcoin development in 2018 under the condition that they "direct all development, necessarily including work on random altcoins," according to Luke Dashjr - former Coinbase executive Dan Romero had deleted the tweet Luke was responding to.

The announcement comes at the heels of a recent controversy surrounding Brian Armstrong's blogpost announcing that broader societal issues will be off-topic for Coinbase employees. 

Developers interested in applying for a grant can apply here.

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Andrew Yang is a researcher obsessed with Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.